Human Capital, Education, and Agriculture

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2000-09-01
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract

Education is widely recognized as the most important form of human capital, and health as the second most important form. The primary focus is on schooling where private and social real rates of return remain high in low and middle income countries for elementary and secondary schooling. The paper reviews broad effects of education in agriculture, and examines some of the prospects and potential for thefuture. Conclusions include: (i) schooling cannot be viewed as unconditionally productive in agriculture. It s impact is conditioned by the price and technology environment and options for off-farm work and migration, (ii) With rapid advances and fall prices of communication and information technologies, farm people of the future will need strong basic schooling to adopt and usethese technologies so as to participate successfully in the new global information system of the 21" century. The structure of agriculture seems likely to change dramatically during the first 25 years, and a new set of adjustments for farm families can be expected.

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